Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1 Chapter 1

Active Summary

Summarise sequence of events

Chapter 1

The Author, Srila Vyasadeva commences Srimad Bhagavatam by offering his obeisances and prayers unto the Supreme Lord Krishna. He describes Srimad Bhagavatam, which is relished by all including liberated souls, as the mature nectarean fruit of all Vedic literature, which has become even more tasteful by touching the lips of Sukadeva Gosvami. Later, Srila Vyasadeva narrates that once the sages headed by Saunaka assembled in Naimisaranya to perform a great 1000 year sacrifice. One morning, the sages offered a seat of esteem and glorified Suta Gosvami for his immense understanding of Vedic literature and submissive attitude towards his spiritual masters. The sages then inquired from him on the following matters.

  1. What is the absolute and ultimate good for people in general?
  2. Due to their short lives, quarrelsome nature, misguided and lazy attitude, unfortunate existence and continual anxiety, the people of Kaliyuga will not avail benefit from the vastness of Vedic literature or the prescribed duties. Therefore, O Sage, please select the essence of all Vedic literature and explain it for the good of all living beings by which they will be fully satisfied.
  3. For what purpose did the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, appeared as the son of Devaki, the son of Vasudeva?
  4. Please explain the various incarnations of the Supreme Lord as you have understood by following in the footsteps of previous acaryas. As both hearing and speaking about the Lord’s activities uplifts one to the transcendental platform.
  5. Even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Lord Krishna can immediately relieve living entities from the vicious cycle of birth and death. Association of pure devotees sanctifies anyone instantly unlike Ganga which purifies after prolonged use. To be delivered from the vices of the age of Kali one should hear the glories of the Lord in the association of pure devotees. The Lord’s transcendental activities are magnificent and sung by great devotees like Narada, therefore, please describe the adventures performed in His various incarnations through his internal personal energies.
  6. Those who have developed a taste for the transcendental relationship with Him relish hearing His pastimes at every moment. Lord Krishna and Balarama performed various pastimes masked as a human being and thus performing various superhuman acts. As Kaliyuga has commenced, we are assembled here to hear the transcendental message of Godhead and in this way perform the sacrifice. We have your presence here by the will of the Lord to become the captain of the ship to help cross the difficult ocean of Kali, which deteriorates all good qualities of a human being. Since, the Absolute Truth, Lord Sri Krishna has now departed for His own abode, please explain to whom the religious principles have gone for shelter.

Philosophical Summary

  1. Krishna, the son of Vasudeva and Devaki is the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead, all others are direct or indirect plenary portions or portions of the portions References
    • Srila Jiva Gosvami – Sri Krsna Sandharba
    • Lord Brahma – Brahma Samhita
    • Sama Veda Upanisad
    • Lord Krishna – Bhagavad Gita
    • Arjuna – Bhagavad Gita

    Sree Krishna is recognised by Sri Arjuna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead not only on the strength of the authoritative recognition of the great saints and sages (BG 10.12-16) but also on his own transcendental personal experience as constant friend and companion of Sree Krishna (BG 11.1-4)

  2. Lord Krishna is the cause of all causes, Everything emanates from Lord Krishna. He is the origin of all creations.
  3. But Sree Krishna Himself is the Absolute Personality of Godhead (BG 7.7)
  4. Srimad Bhagavatam, which is spotless Purana as per Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was written by Srila Vyasadeva on order of Sri Naradaji. Lord Krishna’s transcendental pastimes are described in the tenth canto.
  5. One should gradually read Srimad Bhagavatam from first canto building up to tenth. One has to be a Paramahamsa to transcendentally relish rasa dance.
  6. Srila Vyasadeva invokes Gayatri mantra in 1st verse with the usage of dhimahi. This makes Srimad Bhagavatam for spiritually advanced people with brahminical qualities.
  7. The manifested cosmic nature is created at a certain period by the will of the Lord. It is maintained for some time and then it is destroyed by His will. [BG 9.18]
  8. Atheists do not believe in a creator. Analogy: Scientist:Satellite::God:Stars and Planets
  9. Lord Krishna is summum bonum – Absolute Truth (Param Satyam) with the greatest intelligence and inconceivable energies.
  10. Manifested internal potency of the Lord: the real substance – for expansion into Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan & external energy of the Lord: temporary, illusory, mirage – for cosmic creation
  11. Krishna is, directly and indirectly, aware of everything. His consciousness spreads everywhere. Analogy: Gold Mine:Gold ornaments::Krishna:Living entity
  12. Krishna is the real and Original substance (Vastu)
  13. Nothing is absolutely equal or independent of Krishna.
  14. Since the complete whole or the Absolute Truth is the source of everything, nothing can be independent of the body of the Absolute Truth.
  15. Krishna superintends the creative energy, prakrti, which constitutes the totality of matter. Therefore, Śrī Vyāsadeva does not worship Brahmā, but the Supreme Lord, who guides Brahmā in his creative activities.
  16. Krishna is all perfect.
  17. The living beings are parts and parcels of the Lord, and He impregnates the vast material creation with seeds of spiritual sparks, and thus the creative energies are set in motion to enact so many wonderful creations.
  18. Krishna is asamaurdhva, which means that no one is equal to or greater than Him.
  19. Unless one surrenders unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, it is certain that he will be bewildered. Without surrender to the Lord, no one can become a Mahatma.
  20. Srimad Bhagavatam authority is proclaimed by all the great Acaryas and also by various Puranas (Matsya and Padma Purana). It is also hailed special due to its beginning with Gayatri mantra.
  21. The whole material creation is moving under the principal of sex life.
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